Topic: Media Research Center
Tom Johnson complains in a Dec. 19 NewsBusters post:
If you’re tired of the tributes and homages to Stephen Colbert’s faux-conservative character, take heart: they’re just about over with. Probably.
One of the gushiest goodbyes came from Leslie Savan, who blogs about media/political issues for The Nation. In a Thursday post, Savan noted that on The Colbert Report, Colbert didn’t attack conservatives head-on, but rather “inhabit[ed] their heads via a character,” which enabled him to “demonstrate…how right-wing psychology works.”
Colbert, opined Savan, “show[ed] that beneath his character’s assertion of omnipotence and certitude, there’s a fragility, one that’s also buried in most of the real-life blowhards and their dittoheads…If they stop clapping, Tinker Bell will die. If they stop nodding in agreement, or step off the reservation of Tax Cuts, Guns, and Built It Myself, they could get Other-ed.”
Johnson won't tell you this, but Othering people who stray off the right-wing reservation is exactly how his NewsBusters boss, Media Research Center official Tim Graham, operates. As we've documented, just last week Graham lashed out at anyone who committed the offense of criticizing Ted Cruz, including solidly conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin.
Indeed, such Othering -- or, as we call it, Heathering -- is Graham's and the MRC's chief method of enforcing right-wing ideological rigidity. It seems that the writer Johnson was highlighting has it correct.
Speaking of which, Graham was extremely bitter about the praise given to Colbert upon the retirement of his character. He huffed in a Dec. 18 post:
Liberals are going into deep mourning over the television death of Stephen Colbert, Very Badly Disguised Liberal. They think this is an "unparalleled achievement." In Wednesday's paper, TV writer Bill Carter of The New York Times lined up all of Colbert’s competitors to call him a genius for disparaging conservatives with so much panache.
“For nine years, Stephen Colbert has relentlessly maintained his pompous, deeply ridiculous but consistently appealing conservative blowhard character he has left an indelible mark on late-night television comedy,” Carter wrote. “Consistently appealing?” To whom? Liberals presume “why, everybody enjoys mocking conservatives as opposed to reading.”
It’s these cheap, repetitive insults that don’t deserve a Hall of Fame induction, but liberals love hating conservatives so preciously that anything that helps them demean their opponents as God-fearing, America-loving morons is an instant classic.
Graham turned even more bitter in a Dec. 21 post, ranting that "Washington Post TV writer Hank Stuever didn’t refrain from the goo over the end of Stephen Colbert’s tenure at Comedy Central. His "Critic's Notebook" might have been too soaked with tears to be legible, but it made it into print." Graham grumbled that the idea of Colbert's audience being divided between those who got his schtick and those who didn't was really about "the people who loved the joke, and the people who were the joke."
Such bitterness toward the success of the likes of Colbert and Jon Stewart goes a long way toward explaining why the MRC's own "comedy" show, "NewsBusted," is such a painfully unfunny failure and how the MRC's fundraising effort to upgrade its production values overlooks the fact that it doesn't matter how slick the show looks if it still isn't funny.